It begins again: to the delight of office-bound New Yorkers, a peahen made her getaway from the infamous Bronx Zoo. The female peacock (which technically makes her a peahen) has already twice eluded would-be captors and checked off all the requisite steps to become a wildly popular internet meme like her reptile forbearer, the Bronx Zoo Cobra. A spike in realtime web traffic results? Check. Fawning media saturation? Of course. A competently humorous Twitter handle? Inevitable.
Still, as we monitor the progress of the escaped peahen (she was last spotted blocks from the zoo on Morris Park Avenue), we'd like to remind readers of a similar meme that never quite achieved liftoff: remember Butti the escaped tortoise? He disappeared from a Colorado zoo mere days after the world was infatuated with @bronxzoocobra. But the tortoise meme always lived in the shadow of the poisonous reptile. At one point, a tweeter bluntly appraised the situation: "It's so sad. @BronxZoosCobra was much sassier than @ButtiTortoise."
We hope the same fate doesn't await the @bronxZooPeacock, although she looks like she's off to a good start. "One of my followers calls me Sweet Pea, cute name or what? If the zoo ever catches me, and they won't, how's that for my name?" her account tweeted today.
Update: and it's over.